Hospital staff learning to use PPE
I saw a blur of yellow gloves and dancing bodies, while the instructors – two nurses employed by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Freetown – called out instructions in Krio, a local creole language. Waves of laughter filled the room as cleaners, laundry staff, and other non-clinical health workers shimmied and shook to test the fit of their personal protective equipment (PPE) in a training session on how to prevent infections and keep themselves and other safe from Ebola.
Having just arrived in Freetown a few days before, I was pleasantly surprised to see the grim image of workers clad in PPE—an image that had become, in many ways, the ultimate symbol of the Ebola outbreak—transformed into a scene of fun and empowerment. “The PPE shake,” I later tweeted.
What I was watching, in February 2015, was a pilot of a training class that will be rolled out in hospitals nationwide in Sierra Leone. The Welbodi Partnership is playing an important role in providing this training, as well as ongoing mentorship and other support for infection control, to staff in three Freetown hospitals.
We know, however, that it’s not only hospital workers who need to stay safe. With your support through Global Giving, we will provide opportunities for smaller, primary health facilities in the poorest neighborhoods in Freetown to request this kind of training, or to propose other initiatives they believe will help stop the spread of Ebola. We know that health workers and other local partners are well-placed to identify obstacles and opportunities in the fight against Ebola, and we are committed to providing them with both financial and non-financial support to exploit those opportunities.
You can help. Just $50 can sponsor a training session, and just $100 can buy an infrared thermometer to screen patients before they enter a primary health clinic, identifying those with fever or other possible signs of Ebola in order to protect staff and other patients from infection
Communities, too, are essential to fighting this deadly disease. Next time, we’ll report on some of what our community partners are doing, with your support, to help Sierra Leone reach zero infections!